Man attacked by dogs still traumatised
The Somerfield man who was mauled by three dogs last week is healing well physically, but mentally is struggling to forget the traumatic attack.
Frank Small, 78, was ''torn to pieces'' by American pit bull terriers after trying to help a young boy who had been locked out of his house.
His wife, Melva Small, witnessed the attack with horror and said he had opened the gate to take the boy back to his house when the three dogs rushed at him.
''They just went for him. They ripped his face. His cheek was completely open."
She said her husband had received skin grafts to his neck, elbow and legs, and his cheek was ''healing well".
''He's doing well but he's still in a lot of pain. They really made mincemeat out of him.''
While his body may be healing, he could not forget the attack.
''We're both trying to stay positive, but it is a hard thing to forget,'' she said.
''It was very traumatic. Frank is a positive person, but this has really hit him. He doesn't want to talk about it.''
She said she could not sleep and kept seeing images of the dogs ''ripping'' her husband.
''It does play on my mind. I wish we could just get our lives back to normal.''
Her husband was due to be moved to Oxford Hospital for respite care today.
She hoped the ''change in environment'' would help his recovery.
''He's looking forward to going out to the country and getting some fresh air and rest. ''
She said they had been ''overwhelmed'' with an outpouring of support from the community after the story appeared in The Press last week.
''We have had cards, calls, baking and even some money from people we've never met,'' she said.
''We weren't prepared for all this attention, but people have been just beautiful. I can't possibly thank everyone individually, but I want them to know how much it really meant to us.''
The police still have to interview Frank Small about the attack before they can potentially proceed with prosecution.
Two of the dogs are in Christchurch City Council custody, but Small said the third dog involved in the attack was still on the loose.
''It didn't belong to the same people but always hung out with the other two dogs. It ran away after the attack and I don't know where it is," she said.
"It's scary to think it's still out there.''
- © Fairfax NZ News
What do you think of Gerry Brownlee's idea for a large water sports park in the red zone?